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Moon at Nine

by Deborah Ellis

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1208168,890 (3.97)12
Fifteen-year-old Farrin has many secrets. Although she goes to a school for gifted girls in Tehran, as the daughter of an aristocratic mother and wealthy father Farrin must keep a low profile. It is 1988; ever since the Shah was overthrown, the deeply conservative and religious government controls every facet of life in Iran. If the Revolutionary Guard finds out about her mother’s Bring Back the Shah activities, her family could be thrown in jail or worse. The day she meets Sadira, Farrin’s life changes forever. Sadira is funny, wise and outgoing; the two girls become inseparable. But as their friendship deepens into romance, the relationship takes a dangerous turn. It is against the law to be a homosexual in Iran; the punishment is death. Despite their efforts to keep their love secret, the girls are discovered and arrested. Separated from Sadira, Farrin can only pray as she awaits execution. Will her family find a way to save them both?… (more)
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Book Publication date: April 1, 2014
Moon at Nine is a poignant and powerful story about a bookish, strong-willed fifteen year old girl named Farrin who falls in love with Sadira, a new girl at school who understands Farrin better than her distant peers at school or her self-involved parents. Unfortunately, they are living in 1988 Iran where being gay is against the law and punishable by death.

Farrin and Sadira’s budding romance is sweet and lovely, and their situation absolutely heart-rending, made even more so by the fact that this novel was based on a true story as related to the author. At times, however, I found myself distracted from narrative because of inconsistencies in the quality of the writing. For example, Farrin often feels younger than her age, and the dialogue at times feels very inorganic. There are also a few instances of awkward fact-insertions that are quite jarring and could’ve been more artfully woven into the text.

Nevertheless, Moon at Nine is intensely moving. I found myself rooting for Farrin and Sadira, and I tore my way through this book just trying to find out how things would unfold.

Disclaimer: Review of electronic ARC received free from publisher via NetGalley ( )
  akbooks | Sep 12, 2019 |
Moon At Nine by Deborah Ellis is about a fifteen year old Iranian girl called Farrin. She is a top student at her school yet she is watched constantly as her family is known to have been loyal to the Shah. It has been ten years since the Shah was overthrown, but Iran has been busy with fighting Iraq. Now that this war is over, the Revolutionary Guard is turning it’s eagle eye on their own people.

Farrin meets a girl at school called Sadira and they instantly become friends. Sadira is funny, smart and outgoing and the two girls become inseparable. Their friendship develops into deeper feelings and the girls are happy to be in love. When they are caught kissing at school, they are separated and forced to keep away from each other but finding this impossible the girls plot to run away and escape from Iran. Before they can put their plan into action, they are arrested. As homosexuality can mean a death sentence, the girls are now in deep trouble.

In this YA book, the author sets her story against the politics, religion and culture of 1988 Iran. The author handles the cultural taboos and legal restrictions of lesbian relationships in an informative manner, yet I would have like to have had an inside view of Farren’s mindset when she came to realize that she was attracted to Sadira and what this meant, living as she did under such a merciless regime. I was quite surprised and overcome when I learned that Farrin and Sadira’s story is based on the real life experience of an Iranian refugee that the author met in 2013. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Jul 6, 2019 |
I forgive this little book for its poor writing and its several plot holes. This sweet and haunting story not only made me cry, but it alerted me to social issues I was completely unaware of.

( )
  bookishblond | Oct 24, 2018 |
A powerful, moving treatment of a tough subject and one of the darkest times in Iran's history. ( )
  Sullywriter | May 22, 2015 |
Summary: Fifteen-year-old Farrin has many secrets. Although she goes to a school for gifted girls in Tehran, as the daughter of an aristocratic mother and wealthy father, Farrin must keep a low profile. It is 1988; ever since the Shah was overthrown, the deeply conservative and religious government controls every facet of life in Iran. If the Revolutionary Guard finds out about her mother’s Bring Back the Shah activities, her family could be thrown in jail, or worse. The day she meets Sadira, Farrin’s life changes forever. Sadira is funny, wise, and outgoing; the two girls become inseparable. But as their friendship deepens into romance, the relationship takes a dangerous turn. It is against the law to be gay in Iran; the punishment is death. Despite their efforts to keep their love secret, the girls are discovered and arrested. Separated from Sadira, Farrin can only pray as she awaits execution. Will her family find a way to save them both? Based on real-life events, multi-award winning author Deborah Ellis’s new book is a tense and riveting story about a world where homosexuality is considered so abhorrent that it is punishable by death. ( )
  dalzan | Apr 16, 2015 |
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Fifteen-year-old Farrin has many secrets. Although she goes to a school for gifted girls in Tehran, as the daughter of an aristocratic mother and wealthy father Farrin must keep a low profile. It is 1988; ever since the Shah was overthrown, the deeply conservative and religious government controls every facet of life in Iran. If the Revolutionary Guard finds out about her mother’s Bring Back the Shah activities, her family could be thrown in jail or worse. The day she meets Sadira, Farrin’s life changes forever. Sadira is funny, wise and outgoing; the two girls become inseparable. But as their friendship deepens into romance, the relationship takes a dangerous turn. It is against the law to be a homosexual in Iran; the punishment is death. Despite their efforts to keep their love secret, the girls are discovered and arrested. Separated from Sadira, Farrin can only pray as she awaits execution. Will her family find a way to save them both?

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